Eighty-five students of two schools — one in Nandyal in Kurnool district and another in Kakkalappli in Anantapur district — were taken ill and admitted to hospitals after they reported of vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhoea on Friday afternoon.
The health condition of all the students is said to be stable and they have been kept under 24-hour observation, doctors said.
At the Viswanagar Colony Government Primary School in Nandyal, of the 89 students of the school, 80 attended and all of them had mid-day meal at the school. In less than an hour they began complaining of stomach pain and had vomiting, while of a few of them complained of diarrhoea too.
The school headmaster and other staff immediately rushed the students to the Nandyal Government Hospital, where saline was administered to all the students along with anti-nausea medicines.
The Nandyal hospital doctors said the condition of the students was stable, but they would be kept under observation for 24 hours.
District Education Officer V. Ranga Reddy said a show-cause notice has been given to the school headmaster and midday meal supply agency and after inquiry action would be taken. The school has students from classes 1 to 5 with three teachers.
“We checked eggs and rice and there was no problem, but have sent all food samples for laboratory test to find out the cause of likely food poisoning,” said Mr. Ranga Reddy.
At Kakkalapalli Mandal Parishad Upper Primary School on the outskirts of Anantapur, of the 474 students, 365 had mid-day meals and 41 of them complained of stomach ache, nausea, or dysentery and were admitted to Government General Hospital in Anantapur.
Hospital Superintendent D. Malliswari said the condition of all the students was fine, but they would be kept under observation for 24 hours.
The first batch of 36 students was brought to the hospital at 2 p.m. and at an interval of a few hours five more came.
District Education Officer K. Samuel said the headmaster, Narsimhulu, was suspended and the midday meal run by a parents committee agency was also removed. The students had eaten pongal and sambar, but reportedly complained of a foul smell from the pongal. “We are sending samples to a laboratory and investigating,” said Anantapur MP Talari Rangaiah.